No, I didn’t fall into a hole on my way back from the B-Mets series in New Britain last weekend. Although driving all those miles just to see them drop a three game series to a second division club, was a tad deflating.
Friday night – a 4-0 loss with not much happening for the Mets. Saturday night – a heart-breaking 3-2 loss where the winning run scored for New Britain on a wild pitch. And then there was Sunday – a 6-1 drubbing that looked a lot worse than the score indicates.
When the most exciting thing all weekend to report is the fact that I was there, you can understand why I have been dragging my heels with this recap. So let’s get to the highlights for Binghamton! Or rather, I should say highlight. As I can only think of one. Well, maybe two.
There was Kyle Wilson the B-Mets left-fielder, throwing a strike home to nail a Rock Cats runner at the plate to end the sixth inning on Saturday. His throw kept the game close at 3-2. That’s one. The other is a bit more significant as right-hander Matthew Bowman pitched a very impressive game that day.
He started the game and went seven strong innings, giving up three earned runs on 10 hits, and striking out 12 with no walks. The most impressive thing other than the number of strikeouts combined with zero walks, was that Bowman seemed to grow stronger as the game went on. Despite being tagged with the loss, he struck out six of the final nine batters he faced, and he made the New Britain hitters look utterly hapless.
Bowman (3-3, 4.18), a six-foot 175-pounder, was the Mets 13th round pick in the 2012 draft out of Princeton University. His fastball hovers around the 90-mph mark, but tends to lack movement. He seemed to be getting swings and misses on his developing slider last Saturday night, and also throws a curveball and a change.
The B-Mets, who started this season pretty well have cooled significantly. Since the beginning of May they have endured a four-game losing streak and a five-game losing streak, and are currently riding a three-game tail-spin. They are presently residing in second place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League, with a record of 30-25, and are seven games behind the first place Portland Sea Dogs of the Red Sox organization.
A big reason for their recent struggles are injuries to some of their best players. Starting pitcher Rainy Lara twisted his ankle while covering home in his last start and has been hobbling around ever since. Shortstop Matt Reynolds has not played in a week due to a bad back. Slick fielding middle-infielder Wilfredo Tovar, who was having a career year at the plate, tore a thumb ligament on a head-first slide and will likely require surgery. And 2013 Florida State League MVP, third-baseman Dustin Lawley is on the 7-day D.L. with a strained oblique.
With no other third-baseman on the roster, Binghamton was forced to use back-up catchers Nelfi Zapata and Xorge Carrillo at third-base in the New Britain series. I spoke to Lawley on Sunday and he told me his oblique “feels great.” He said the week off did what he had hoped in giving the problem a chance go away. He said he is looking forward to getting back into the line-up Wednesday night against Altoona.
I will be hitting the road again in two weeks for two Brooklyn Cyclones games. At which time I hope to meet many of the newly minted NY Mets prospects acquired in this weeks’ 2014 MLB Amateur Player Draft. In the meantime, keep checking in with MMO for the latest news on the Mets, the Mets minors, and the draft!